Posts Tagged ‘berbatov’
Our interest in Mirko Vucinic doesn’t make any sense. Why are we wasting resources signing another striker when we have more pressing needs in central midfield and defence? With Diouf not yet out of the door we currently have seven out-and-out strikers with at least one first-team goal for the club. In contrast, Arsenal have six if you include Walcott and Gervinho and Chelsea have five, including Kalou, who plays wide, and Sturridge who plays for other teams. Even City only have six.
As the days go by, it looks more and more likely that we’ll be kicking off against Manchester City in 12 days time without Wesley Sneijder, Samir Nasri, Luka Modric or any other new midfielders in the squad. Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed that there were targets, but that the targets are not available to us, which would seem to rule out the likelihood of our signing anyone at all. At the very least, there won’t be any more midfielders unless some unbelievable value becomes available.
I really, really don’t get why there are any question marks over Dimitar Berbatov’s future at Manchester United whatsoever. He’s the golden boot winner, he was absolutely vital during the early spell of the season when the going was tough and, as we’ve been reminded with the recent spate of Goal of the Season competitions, is capable of moments of pure match-winning genius.
Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez have forged a partnership, but I still have reservations ofer Hernandez as a complete footballer. I’m not sure what he offers in the build up, although I cannot fault his work rate and am certain that this is something he will be working on in training.
The news has emerged today that Michael Owen has been offered a new one year deal at the club and, as one would expect, has bitten Sir Alex’s hand off. Of course, one would assume that if he’s a success next season, his contract would again be extended.
Whilst it’s always good to have natural goalscorers on the clubs books, Michael Owen divides opinion amongst United fans. Whilst none are foolish enough to doubt his pedigree or ability when fit, there are question marks that surround both his ability to stay fit for extended periods and what this means for the young players at the club.
Thanks, Wayne Rooney, for scoring a brilliant hat-trick to salvage three lost points for us at West Ham. Considering how crap he’s been for most of this season, and the first 60 minutes of the game on Saturday, this performance helps to mend yet more of the damage that he did when he held us to ransom.
Not all of it, but more of it.
His reaction to his third goal exemplified exactly why I struggle to feel the same I used to about Wayne Rooney. Two moments of brilliance and a clinically taken penalty to turn a game we had done our best to lose completely on its head were immediately overshadowed by a juvenile, hostile and downright offensive outburst.
It’s not the swearing that I have a problem with. I don’t give a fuck what he says, although I appreciate that parents of young children may feel differently. I swear like a trooper on the football pitch myself. It’s the hate that fills Wayne, the hostility which he seems to reserve for absolutely everyone who isn’t Wayne Rooney, including his own supporters. He’s just such a hard man to love.
There is passion, and then there is aggression. Wayne’s celebration was so far over the line of aggression as to be almost untrue. Gone is the enthusiastic young goal machine from Liverpool who said he loved the club and did everything in his power to prove that to the fans. Instead, we have a self-interested, self-important snarling nutcase, rich beyond his wildest dreams and completely out of touch with the fans. He’s had a bad season both personally and professionally, but he’s started banging in goals again.
This is what makes the case of Wayne Rooney so difficult for me to get my head around. I want to love him again. I really, really do, especially after he single-handedly won us a game that we had no right to. I just can’t. I don’t feel like I have anything in common with him. Not even the love for Manchester United that we all take for granted.
The comparison between the classy, cultured and understated Dimitar Berbatov is staggering. Although Wayne snatched the headlines, both good and bad, the man that turned the game was Berba. I have never in my life seen a player so composed on the ball, so aware of his team-mates and so easy on the eye. Some of the things Berba does make me laugh out loud at the screen. As others have pointed out, there is absolutely no coincidence in that fact that all of our goals came with him on the pitch.
If the rumours doing the rounds today, that Berba will be allowed to leave for any offer over £20m, are true then I will break down and cry. I will literally fall to pieces where I am sitting.
Ryan Giggs was so good at left-back that, having missed the first minute of the second half when I flicked over to check the cricket score, I didn’t at first realise that Evra had gone off and Giggs had filled in. He was up and down the flank, an attacking outlet and defensively solid. Yet another top class performance from a player that I am going to miss so, so much when he is gone.
Arsenal are bottlers, pure and simple. Chelsea have now dropped one point too many and nobody else is even in the hunt. It’s a little premature to claim 19, because it could still all go horribly wrong, but this weekend’s results could barely have gone any better for us.
Bring on Chelsea. Surely it’s time to beat them again?
It’s quite a big step for me to admit that, at the moment, perhaps Dimitar Berbatov isn’t part of our first XI. He’s certainly not the man in form and, perhaps fatally, not the man with age on his side either.
It would be almost unthinkable in most scenarios to consider the leagues top scorer to be any team’s third choice center forward, and it’s certianly not a negative reflection on Berbatov as a player or as a bloke, as he’s absolutely top bracket in both regards.
Part of the blame (if we are to call it that) must land at the feet of Sir Alex Ferguson, who has only sparingly given Berbatov the chance to shine in the big games this season. Mostly, however, it’s down to both the sudden return to form of Wayne Rooney and the inexorable rise of little Javier Hernandez.
I love Berbatov, but last night was not made for him. We scored two great goals which exhuded the cut-and-thrust of our attacking play at it’s best. The pace and movement of the front two and the wingers caused Marseille touble only sporadically, but when it did they were unplayable.
Pace and movement are two areas in which Berbatov does not excel, but Rooney and Hernandez base their entire games on being good in them. Rooney, when on song, dominates the space between the opposition lines much like Scholes, his range of passing second to none. Hernandez, on the other hand, is the master craftsman in the penalty area, possibly the most supremely talented poacher I have seen in many a year.
As an extra bonus, Antonio Valencia appears to have slipped seamlessly back into the team and is brilliantly linking with these two right from the off. Although admittedly we have no idea how he would meld with Berbatov this time around, this late in the season isn’t the time for experimentation.
Instead, we get to ride the crest of a wave of striking form towards the three trophies that we’re still in with a shout of winning. Whilst I still think we’ll come unstuck against some genuine quality should we meet Barcelona or Real Madrid, if we manage to avoid those guys until the final (they could draw each other in the quarters or semi still) we could beat anyone in a one-off game.
In all honesty, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to see where Berbatov fits in to our fast, and mobile front four. Could it be that he would be the best value player to sell in the summer? I’d date to see it happen because I love to watch Berbatov play, but selling Rooney now he appears to be back on form and interested again, for all my personal distate for the guy, would be footballing suicide.
Last night was far more nervy than it needed to be and, once again, you can say that we got bossed in the midfield for long periods, especially in the second half. Marseille have a plethora of huge physical defenders of African origin, although some (Taiwo) fall over way too easily.
Quite how Marseille failed to score I will never know. Their finishing was about as deadly as a bath plug, and there is a school of thought that we were lucky to get through. Indeed, if Gignac and Diawara had both taken their woefully wasted chances, it would have left us needing a further two goals in the second half to progress. Of course, goals change games, and if Gignac had levelled our opener so quickly who knows how the game would have panned out?
Smalling etc etc.
Speaking of the defense, we’re now fucked again. With John O’Shea and Rafael out we have no fit right-backs. Wesley Brown can deputise, but it’s hardly his preferred position, and Fabio is more accustomed to playing left-back, so with Vidic out for three weeks it remains to be seen what shows up against Bolton at the weekend. Probably Evra, Smalling, Brown and Fabio, unless there’s a reserve we can chuck in. Wouldn’t fancy it at this stage of the season though.
It’s not snowing anymore, and that means that, this time, the rentboys have nowhere to run or hide. Manchester United are heading to the bridge tonight, and I think that we’re going to do them.
I wasn’t this confident before the Arsenal game we won 1-0, or any of the City / Liverpool games we’ve played this season. I tend to err on the side of caution, expecting us to draw most of these big games.
Not so this time out, against an out-of-sorts Chelsea team who lately have been behaving like even bigger tossers than usual. Not content with signing the greatest ladyboy ever to play football for far too much, and pissing off their main man in the process, they have continued to play shit and plunged new depths of behaviour.
Carlo Ancelotti is clinging on to the reigns, no more in control than a cowboy over a rodeo bull, as the players run rough-shod over his rule, like the self-centered and entitled arsewipes that they are. In scenes so incredibly ludicrous I at first thought they were biting satire, Ashley Cole actually shot a work experience student with an air rifle this week. That’s right. Ashley Cole shot someone.
Of course, you’d never know, because Wayne Rooney also ebowed someone on a football pitch within the past few days. This, clearly, is a far bigger crime than shooting someone (and attempting to hide the incident from the police and hospitals…) and worthy of all the column inches it has been given.
A crime that you or I would get jailed for is simply swept under the carpet. Just like that. No wonder the rentboys behave like dicks. They’re positively encouraged to by their management. Remember John Terry’s “charity” tours?
Anyway, the game. Torres is going to fancy his chances of once again bending over Vidic and fucking him sideways. I don’t think he’ll have the same joy he’s previously had, however. Vida is on an imperious run of form, and with the fresh and confident Chris Smalling alongside him, I think they will have enough between them to snuff him out.
Anelka is the one I’m worried about. He seems to be doing well and, if anything, Torres’ arrival has given him more space from which to profit. I don’t expect him to be afforded this space tonight.
Fergie has been playing Gibson lately, which to me gives the biggest indication that he’s not intending to play him tonight. I have also been nonchalantly saying that the defence picks itself then seeing O’Shea preferred to Rafael. I’m not John’s biggest fan, but he’s done well recently and can now be classed as “experienced”. I see no reason that he won’t start again. That leaves Vidic, Smalling and Evra elsewhere.
We’re almost certainly going here in a 4-5-1, with Scholes, Carrick and Fletcher playing. That leaves Nani on the right and, whilst we’ve still got injuries and Giggs is doubtful, Rooney on the left with Berba up front.
The only other option available would be to bring Gibson in for Fletcher, or put Nani on the left, Fletcher on the right and play 4-4-2, but since when did we play 4-4-2 in the big away games? I’ve probably also called the right-back position wrong again, but there we go.
I expect Chelsea to set up as they have been of late, stringing five across the midfield, albeit with one of those being Anelka playing in a very advanced role. The Drog won’t start, because with the shit he’s been talking this week Ancelotti surely won’t e able to bow to player power, because that would send the message that he’s completely lost his team.
Although John Terry and David Luiz are yet to settle as a center-back pairing, the same could be said of Vidic and Smalling, so this isn’t particularly an advantage we have. Ashley Cole, tosser that he is, is also a very good left back who will do his best to silence Nani. Because of this, the way that Ivanovic handles Rooney, and the performance of Berba (should he get service) will be absolutely key to deciding this game.
I can’t see us losing. Perhaps another draw. I doubt it will be goal-less though. With Chelsea’s season in disarray, this is all that’s left for them to play for unless they can avoid Barcelona in the Champions League. They’re going to be up for it. They’re goint to come after our blood.
Five Cantonas Prediction
We’re going to suck up everything they throw at us early, hit them on the break, and come out 3-1 winners. I’m THAT confident.
I must have missed the part where Wayne Rooney made a grovelling apology for his transfer request without blaming someone else. I must have missed the months of stellar form in the lead-up to yesterday’s game. I must have been fast asleep and dreaming when he said that he was leaving for a club with ambition and that Fergie had lied about his injury, and I must be stupid, a cunt and “not a true fan”. Read the rest of this entry »